Alfred Victor du Pont papersCreation: 1805-1856
Alfred Victor du Pont (1798-1856) was a senior partner in E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, a gunpowder manufacturer. This collection of papers documents Alfred V. du Pont’s business affiliations, relations with other family members, and relationship with du Pont workers. The bulk is comprised of correspondence, and the collection also includes a small number of advertising circulars.
- Creation: 1805-1856
- Du Pont, Alfred Victor, 1798-1856 (Person)
1 Linear Foot
Alfred Victor du Pont (1798-1856) was a senior partner in E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, a gunpowder manufacturer.
He was born in Paris to Sophie Madeleine Dalmas du Pont (1775-1828) and Eleuthère Irénée du Pont (1771-1834), the founder of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. In 1800 he came to the United States with his family. He was educated at Mt. Airy and Dickinson Colleges. He studied chemistry at Dickinson under Thomas Cooper, a disciple of Joseph Priestly. In 1818 he joined the firm E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. Upon the death of his father in 1834, he formed a new partnership with his brother-in-law, James Antoine Bidermann. In 1837 Alfred Victor du Pont became the senior partner. He retired in 1850. He was primarily interested in developing methods for improving the manufacture of black powder. He worked with Ellwood Morris, a Philadelphia engineer, evaluating the efficiency of turbines at the Du Pont mills.
In 1824 he married Margaretta Elizabeth Lammot (1807-1898), daughter of Daniel Lammot (1782-1877) and Susan Parham Beck (1786-1817). They resided at Nemours, a house built for them in 1824, near his father's home. He was active in the local school and political affairs and served as a Presidential Elector in 1844. Margaretta (Lammot) du Pont and her father were active in establishing the Wilmington congregation of Swedenborgians (Church of the New Jerusalem) in Delaware. Of the seven children of Alfred V. du Pont, two sons, Eleuthère Irénée du Pont (1829-1877) and Lammot du Pont (1831-1884), were active in the firm of E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. Margaretta Lammot du Pont helped establish a Swedenborgian congregation in Wilmington. After her husband's death, she moved to another residence, Goodstay, in Wilmington, where she resided until her death.
Scope and Contents
This collection of papers documents Alfred V. du Pont’s business affiliations, relations with other family members, and relationship with du Pont workers.
The bulk of the collection is comprised of the correspondence series. As well as letters, this series includes memoranda, receipts, articles of agreement, notices of sales, copies of orders, settlement of accounts, etc. Many of the letters are from former employees, or members of their families, asking for assistance, advice, or settlement of balances due former employees. Letters on Alfred's role as guardian of minor children of deceased employees are among this body of letters.
Several letters and copies of letters between Alfred and his brothers Henry du Pont (1812-1889) and Alexis I. du Pont (1816-1857) relate to the powder factory operations, Louviers, and Rokeby. The investment of the du Ponts in the Rockland Manufacturing Company is also apparent. A few letters tell of his son Alfred du Pont, Jr.'s (1833-1893) career in New York and later in Louisville, where he was agent for the powder factory and operator of a paper mill.
In some of the materials, Alfred V. du Pont makes comments about the closing of the Eden Park Powder Mills of the Garesches; the relationship of du Pont to these mills, and the shutting down of the mills due to a series of bad explosions. There is mention of ten rolling mill explosions in the du Pont yards between January 1, 1855 and August 30 of that year.
Letters passed between du Pont and Alfred Mordecai (1804-1887) of the Washington Arsenal showing that the former loaned the latter foreign works dealing with improvements in ordnance, gunnery, ballistics, cannon and gun construction, etc.
There are also memoranda bearing on interest on bonds and stock, on property leases, on rental of warehouse space for storing saltpeter in Wilmington, on sale of du Pont owned lands in western Pennsylvania, on mortgages, notes due, etc.
A few papers, including articles of agreement between Charles Le Carpentier (1804-1886) and Hugh Stirling (1821-1883) for construction of a home for the former, show that Alfred du Pont was architect for this home erected near Rockland. A detailed description of the house appears in the agreement.
There are also receipted bills from a Philadelphia book dealer in imported books tell that du Pont was reading, works of technological and business nature, but others in the classics and general literature categories.
The small series of printed material includes advertising circulars for C.I. & A.V. du Pont & Co., an optical and mathematical instrument business, and a water wheel. There are also circulars advising of lotteries in the Kingdom of Poland, several Bohemian estates, and an engraving of the "Palais de Jetscham."
This collection is open for research.
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Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- Alfred Victor du Pont papers
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- 2022: Encoded by Angela Schad.